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« The Jury Is In | Main | What He Said »

And Now, Idiots

Someday, someone is going to have to sit down and write a book about the screwups and coverups at the FBI.

And when it's all put together in one place, everyone will wonder why we don't, in P. J. O'Rourke's memorable phrase about farm policy, "just take the agency out behind the barn and kill it."

Posted by Rand Simberg at May 28, 2002 04:45 PM
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This reminds me of the beginning of LeCarre's _The Honourable Schoolboy_. In the book, the British Secret Service, known as the Circus, had just caught a Russian mole at the top of their ranks (_Schoolboy_ is a sequel to _Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy_), Owing to an inevitable restructuring, losses of trust between circus members as well as parliament, and budget cuts, George Smiley commenced what he called "back-bearing," which was an attempt to look through all of the records they could locate to find out what they had that wasn't tainted by the mole. Weeks and weeks of research produced very clear lines among what was interfered with and what wasn't, and ultimately produced a lead that became the main thrust of the book.

The FBI could benefit from the back-bearing that's going on, even though the back-bearing is largely being done at the moment to assign blame. There's a good chance that for every wiretap and memo that could have clued someone towards the September attacks, the FBI is uncovering others that, in light of more recent knowledge, is leading them to new suspects, new ideas about what elements of the US are being targetted, and so on.

Posted by LAN3 at May 29, 2002 10:54 AM

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